EVERY picture tells a story, so they say, but sometimes the narrative is rather blurred around the edges.

Ripped, stained, creased and faded are just some of the defects that can affect those old photos in your bottom drawer.

But hold on a minute because help is at hand.

Step forward Will Jupe who is a bit of a caped crusader when it comes to rescuing ancient images.

From his neat, terraced home in the shadow of Worcester’s Commandery he performs photographic miracles, breathing new life into prints most people would consider long gone.

No matter how old, how damaged, he will have a go at restoring the memories.

Actually the word “miracle” is not entirely inappropriate for Bromsgrove School-educated Will because at one time he considered going into the Church “but then I changed my mind”.

So now his feats have a more earthly grounding and are achieved through his supreme mastery of modern technology, plus good old-fashioned artistry.

While along the way he’s discovered a surprising local connection.

He explained: “I have been restoring photographs professionally for more than a decade. But it was only when someone brought me a box of photographic glass plates (made in the 1880s) that I learned about the part Worcester played in this technology that has transformed our ability to make memories.

“The oldest-surviving photo in the world was taken nearly 200 years ago in 1826 and is called ‘View from the Window at Le Gras [France]’. Before that, if you wanted a physical reminder of a place or a person you had to paint a picture or write a description. Which was fine apart from being extremely slow and possible only for a privileged few.

“It was a long time after 1826 before photography evolved into something for ordinary people. Not until 1890, when American George Eastman put his first ‘Kodak’ camera on sale, was there anything remotely affordable (£500 in today’s money) or convenient.

"Between those dates, pioneers in many different places were experimenting with different equipment and techniques, each hoping to capture an image that would not immediately fade and do it in the simplest way.

“But what was happening in Worcester? Around the same time that photography was being born, human-powered transport was evolving and Worcester had a Tricycle Club. Not a Bicycle Club, because the chain-driven, two-wheeled machine we would all recognise only appeared in the 1880s.

"Worcester Tricycle Club members were ‘early adopters’ of this new way of getting around without a horse (the first bicycle was known as a ‘dandy-horse’), as well as being excited early adopters of cameras and photography.

"They toured the countryside by pedal-power, stopping to take pictures - and, in doing so, created an early photographic record of the area. It was only in 1890 that they separated their interests and founded the Worcestershire Camera Club.

“The small, delicate, square glass plates that were brought to me, with their fragile cardboard surrounds, many peeling and flaking, had been made by a member of the Tricycle Club.”

The start of the restoration process is for Will to scan the old photos at high resolution and right away you get an indication of the intensity of his standards.

“The average scan is at 300 dots per square inch,” he said. “But I scan at 1,200. Scanners, like cameras, vary in quality, so I prefer to scan the original photograph with my own equipment to be sure of creating the best reproduction.

“Each photograph requires its own combination of repairs. Typically, a damaged photograph will be suffering from some of the following: creases, tears, marks, stains, missing sections, writing, speckling, fine scratches, surface decay and dust marks.

"With careful and patient work it’s possible to restore most prints, negatives, slides and photographic glass plates to their original glory.

“Colour photographs, especially those exposed to sunlight’s UV rays, can soon discolour and fade, in extreme cases resolving to a single blue, green, red or yellow.

"Altering the balance of colours where they exist (colour-correcting) and painting colours in where they have disappeared (colourising) are the two main techniques employed when repairing such a picture. Colourising, however, normally takes place as a separate process once the restoration itself is complete.

“It is rarely necessary or desirable to retouch or airbrush an old photograph so that original detail is changed. But sometimes a small alteration will improve a picture.”

One of the first photos Will restored was taken in around 1900 of the Anchor Inn at Diglis and this now hangs in the pub but more usually the subjects are family, people and pets. Subjects that hold the most cherished memories.

How long it will take and how much it will cost are variables because each old photo and each challenge is different.

It takes many hours and much dedication to achieve results to this standard, so don’t expect miracles to come cheap. Although Will can work to a budget. It’s not always black and white.

Will Jupe can be contacted on 01905 317713 or at will@restoringglory.co.uk